Creon 40,000 tablets - is there a shortage?

Has anyone else had difficulty obtaining Creon 40,000 tablets? My chemist tells me that there is a shortage because people are eating less pork, so less pancreatic material is available. As I take quite a large dose, I will have to take dozens of 25,000s - not really sure how that helps with a shortage as we will all be taking the same overall amount??

My doctor has said that this is the first time they have heard of an issue and she will take up with the Pharmacy Association, so I'm not sure if this is local to me or a National issue .

19 Replies

  • Actually I heard about this from my mother's dietician. This was Friday 22nd May, he was changing her 25k mg (for snacks) to 40k mg and he mentioned it to me. I believe from his comments it is a national problem and not just localised to any one area. We live in Cardiff. Thankfully through a few mess ups with prescriptions (Doctor kept messing them up), she has enough for a further four months supply.

    To clarify, we ticked the 25k on the repeat prescription and GP kept going to the first one on the list which happened to be 40k - DOH.

  • Hi

    Came across this posting a couple of months ago, I am also aware of another user of 40,000 strength who has had to change to 25,000.

  • link seems to be broken, but go to google and type in 'creon shortage' and see the link to the cystic fibrosis site

  • Thank you, hopefully this is a temporary blip. uknomad, the link address is:


    Thanks so much for the steer

  • I had the same issue in Leeds the pharmacist thought it was a quality control issue at that time. That was about two weeks ago and I haven't tried since - maybe I should

  • The manufacturer of Creon has written to healthcare professionals (March 2015) advising that Creon 40,000 capsules are temporarily unavailable due to manufacturing yield problems.

    A letter from the manufacturer notes that Creon is a biological product and lower than expected yields of high-potency enzymes from porcine glands has impacted on the current availability of the 40,000 strength product. This issue does not impact upon the lower dose products and therefore Creon 25,000 and 10,000 remain available.

    The company recommended that an equivalent dose of a lower strength be used with a preference to use the 25,000 strength product to reduce the number of capsules taken by individual patients.

    Supplies of the lower dose capsules are unaffected as they do not require the same high concentration of active enzymes in the raw material as Creon 40,000. The manufacturer has produced a simple conversion table as a guide to transition patients to the lower dose and suggests that Creon 25,000 would be the preferred alternative, as fewer capsules would be needed than the 10,000 dose.

    Abbott states it is “working to address the situation as quickly as possible, including identifying additional sourcing options”, and goes on to add that “the temporary unavailability of Creon 40,000 is not related to any safety issue”.

  • So wheres this table because my gp hasn't a clue a normally take 32 creon 40000 a day plus 2 with each snack a was getting just over 700 capsules every 28 days now with this ingredient issue my local gp has took it on himself to prescribe me 400 creon every 28 days saying this should be adequate for my doses a havn't been on the 25000 a week am now back to what a was like 5 years ago.... Thanks for the information you put on here il have too chase it up with me consultant!!

  • 32 x 40,000 is equivalent to 51.2 x 25,000. That is about 360 per week, so 1440 for 4 weeks.

    2 x 40,000 with each snack equates to about 3 x 25,000. If you have 2 snacks per day, that would be 42 tabs per week, 170 per 4 weeks.

    I make that 1610 x 25,000 every 4 weeks.

    Hope that helps :)

  • husband on Creon. He went to collect his prescription from the chemist who has said the same as you all... But they aren't sure when supply back to normal... His pharmacist suggested taking 10,000 tablets with meals... In theory sounds ok but when he takes 3 x 40,000 with meals.. He can't possibly take 12 tablets with one meal.... Luckily he got some 25,000 tablets but they won't last for ever.... Why haven't the GP 's informed their patients if this sooner... ...

  • I take 20 x 40,000 per day, so wouldn't want to be on 10,000s! It's bad enough taking 32-ish 25,000s and poor bigears takes 32 x 40,000.

    My doc has tried to say that I should take the same number of 25,000s but I've said that I will need to see my consultant before a dose change. Not very satisfactory.

    Hope this issue is sorted soon and we can all return to normal.

  • My GP telephoned me and informed me of this. I have now been prescribed the 25,000 so will see how I get on with them, although still get bouts of Steorreah now matter how many I take

  • Its good to see that some GP's/Pharmacies bother to keep patients informed these days.

    My husband has to take Creon after treatment for pancreatic cancer.

    Last month our local Co-Op pharmacy had his prescription for nearly a week but waited until he went to collect his medication before telling him there was a problem "with Creon supplies and would need to discuss an alternative with the GP". I'm sure you can imagine the stress and panic this message caused!! Thankfully the GP did then contact us to explain that it was only the 40,000unit strength that was not available and told us that he was sending another prescription to the pharmacy for a supply of equivalent strengths. Upon collection, my husband complained to the pharmacist that the mis-information and the dilatory action on their part in letting us know had caused quite some stress and hoped it wouldn't happen again. He also wrote to the medicines monitoring authority to find out just what the problem was. They promptly sent a full explanation ( which one of the threads has summarised very succinctly ) and assured us that it was only the high strength that was a problem.

    Yesterday hubby went to collect his next supply and couldn't believe his ears when he was told that they hadn't been able to dispense the prescription as they had now run out of 10,000 units strength. Again, they have had the prescription a week and no-one has been in touch with the GP or us about it This time he asked to speak to the pharmacy manager private to complain that he was not satisfied with their service. Various excuses for running out of the lower strength, one of which was that there was now a problem that also. Unfortunately at this point hubby decided to explain how pharmacy used to work back in the day when I worked in the profession myself and he was a charge nurse on intensive care ( how we always used to communicate promptly with each other on such issues for the sake of safety and patient confidence)!! Anyway, apparently this upset the manager so much that at the ripe old age of 67 he has got himself banned from the place. Well, they have asked him to get his prescription from another pharmacy in future which I suppose amounts to the same thing. The problem is, national pharmacy chains like the Co-Op seem to rely almost entirely on the computer. Staff don't appear to be fixed to one branch anymore so there appears to be no specified person, as was the case in the old days, responsible for keeping unto speed with variations in product changes or capable of making human decisions regarding stock control like picking up on problems and ensuring that GP's/ patients are kept updated on a regular basis. The previous owner manager did all this and more but of course he has retired now.

    Sorry about the rant but it so annoys me when professionals who should be able to empathise with the people they are serving, just don't!

  • I have had the same problem. Chemists in both London and in Antibes where I am currently on holiday tell me Creon40000 is currently unavailable, although they do not know why.

  • I haven't been able to get hold of the Creon 40'000 for a few weeks but at least I now know why. It hasn't been such a bad adjustment for me being on the 25'000 as it only means taking an extra 3 tablets a day.

    I used to think I was on a high dose but reading how many you all take each day kicks that thought in to touch. I take two 40'000's with each meal and two 10'000's with a snack. If I take too much then I get prickly pains in my bowels, thats probably me digesting myself lol.

  • Update..... My chemist has had difficulty finding 25000s this week. He had to try several suppliers before he found some. I can't face only having 10000s as would need to take approx 80 daily.

    Have checked online and in the UK there doesn't seem to be an alternative to Creon.

  • Hi suwinter... my husband is taking creon, and was told my his pharmacist that there is a delay in 25,000 too, he's been given some tablets this week, and told him to go back to the chemist next week... its a nightmare.. I cant find any information online about the delay at all...

    You'd think if there was a real problem then the clinical nurse at the hospital would be in touch.



  • Hello, is anyone still having issues my mum is now having to take 10,000 tablets and over 36+ of these a day and every prescription is always short by 1 or 2 full bottles. So I was just wanting to know if this is still national we are north east England thank you :)

  • I've had difficulties getting 2500s too a couple of times recently, but my pharmacist has always tracked some down. Probably just a supply-chain blip because we've all moved to 25000s and are therefore taking over 50% more.

    I've checked the pharmacist shortage list for Sept and it's only showing 40000s as a problem. Here's the link:

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